Highways: Autocide

Four cars in four years have smashed into Bridge 238 on the Kansas Turnpike near Topeka. In each case, the driver was the lone occupant, and he was killed. In each case, turnpike police made the same notation on their report: daylight, clear, road dry, level and straight, no skid marks. "Cause: improper driving." Or was it suicide? No one can know for sure, but more and more police and traffic experts suspect that "autocide," as one expert calls it, is an important cause of traffic deaths.

Estimates as to how many of last year's more than 52,000 road...

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